Published in 1968, Do Androids Dream? follows Rick Deckard and John Isidore during a particularly trying day in each man's life. A bounty hunter, Rick is tasked with "retiring" six fugitive Nexus-6 androids. (Don't tell Google .) As he goes about tracking his prey, Rick begins to question the morality of his work, wondering whether these machines have evolved into something beyond wire and circuitry. Meanwhile, John Isidore houses a colonial fugitive named Pris Stratton, ending his long isolation but bringing him ever closer to crossing paths with a certain bounty hunter. No, not that bounty hunter (though that would be cool).
However, not all is good with Do Androids…. While Philip answers many of the questions he raises throughout the story, he leaves nearly as many unanswered. In my opinion, leaving the reader wondering at the end of a story is a good thing, but Philip takes it too far. If there had been a sequel, and it is possible that Philip did intend to write one, I would forgive it, but as it is a stand-alone novella I feel that it detracts quite significantly from the story as a whole. Another thing that I didn't like was the ending. It seems out of place, and makes no sense to me. Using the fake religion that Philip invented as an important plot piece seemed very out of place. However, the rest of the novel makes up for the disappointing ending. My only other major gripe is the fact that the actual prose is not great. While Philip's descriptions of post-apocalyptic Earth are powerful, they are rather blunt, and have no poetic quality to them.
Rick meets John Isidore on the roof of his building where he is releasing the spider into a patch of weeds. Rick then goes into the building to retire the androids. As he goes through the building he has an encounter with Mercer, who tells him that what he has to do must be done. At that time a girl that looks just like Rachael Rosen runs towards him and Rick realizes that, because she looks just like Rachael, she is there to illicit an empathetic response in him, giving the other androids time to kill him. He fires his laser and kills Pris Stratton.